Vista Equity Partners Completes Acquisition of Duck Creek Technologies

Boston, March 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Duck Creek Technologies (“Duck Creek”), the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance, today announced the completion of its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses, for $19.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.6 billion.

“We are excited to commence our partnership with Vista Equity Partners and work together to advance the next generation of P&C insurance technology,” said Michael Jackowski, Chief Executive Officer of Duck Creek. “With Vista’s global network and deep sector expertise, we will be better positioned to support and accelerate the industry’s transition to the cloud while continuing to deliver a best-in-class customer experience.”

“Duck Creek is a demonstrated leader in the P&C space, delivering innovative solutions that empower carriers to be faster and more nimble in servicing the digital needs of their customers,” said Monti Saroya, Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Vista’s Flagship Fund. “We look forward to partnering with Mike and the Duck Creek team as they continue to scale and define the future of P&C insurance technology.”

“We’re excited to welcome Duck Creek to the Vista ecosystem,” said Jeff Wilson, Managing Director at Vista. “Their commitment to excellence and innovation coupled with Vista’s experience in driving sustainable growth will take the business to new heights while delivering solutions that help carriers transform their business.”

Duck Creek has earned the right to partner with and provide its modern technology solutions to an esteemed list of leading carriers across the globe, including Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, Hollard Insurance, Northbridge Financial Corporation and Tokio Marine.

With the completion of the transaction, Duck Creek Technologies shares have ceased trading and are no longer listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisor to Duck Creek, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel to Duck Creek.

Evercore acted as financial advisor to the Special Committee of the Duck Creek Board of Directors, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal counsel to the Special Committee of the Duck Creek Board of Directors.

RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to Vista, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to Vista.

About Duck Creek Technologies

Duck Creek Technologies is the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of the property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance industry. We are the platform upon which modern insurance systems are built, enabling the industry to capitalize on the power of the cloud to run agile, intelligent, and evergreen operations. Authenticity, purpose, and transparency are core to Duck Creek, and we believe insurance should be there for individuals and businesses when, where, and how they need it most. Our market-leading solutions are available on a standalone basis or as a full suite, and all are available via Duck Creek OnDemand. Visit www.duckcreek.com to learn more. Follow Duck Creek on our social channels for the latest information – LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Vista Equity Partners

Vista is a leading global investment firm with more than $95 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2022. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, permanent capital, credit and public equity strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista’s investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity. Further information is available at vistaequitypartners.com. Follow Vista on LinkedIn, @Vista Equity Partners, and on Twitter, @Vista_Equity.

Carley Bunch
Duck Creek Technologies
+1 (201) 962-6091
carley.bunch@duckcreek.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8798688

Moderna Finalizes Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Kenya to Establish an mRNA Manufacturing Facility

Facility to enable access to manufactured mRNA vaccines for Kenya and the African continent, providing health security and building upon Moderna’s global public health commitments

The facility will be capable of producing up to 500 million doses each year

CAMBRIDGE, MA & NAIROBI, KENYA/ ACCESSWIRE / March 30, 2023 / Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, and the Government of the Republic of Kenya have finalized an agreement to establish an mRNA manufacturing facility in the Republic of Kenya. This will be the Company’s first mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa.

In partnership with the Government of the Republic of Kenya, Moderna will build a state-of-the-art mRNA facility in Kenya to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year. The Company expects the new facility to enable drug substance and drug product manufacturing for Kenya and the African continent. In addition, this facility will have surge capacity to rapidly scale and respond to public health emergencies on the continent and around the world.

“The finalization of our agreement with the Government of the Republic of Kenya is a key pillar of our global public health strategy, where we hope to bring mRNA innovation to the people of Africa in areas of high unmet need, such as acute respiratory infections, as well as persistent infectious diseases like HIV and outbreak threats such as Zika and Ebola,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “This also demonstrates our confidence in the investment climate in Kenya and the importance of utilizing mRNA technology to build resilience in healthcare security in Africa. We are also grateful for the leadership of the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, and Samantha Power, in her role as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development for their instrumental support of this project.”

“We are excited about this milestone that brings to bear our efforts as Government to sustain our economic model of facilitating investments that serve not only Kenya but the African continent. My Government commits to supporting this investment as a critical signal to the investment community that Kenya is open for business,” said President William Ruto.

“This investment creates the momentum to meet the $10 billion annual target under the Government’s manufacturing 20 by 30 vision, where we plan to grow the contribution of manufacturing to GDP to 20% by the year 2030 from the current 7%,” said Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade, and Industry Hon. Moses Kuria.

The Government of Kenya has championed an accelerated investment agenda to grow foreign direct investment levels from the current levels of $448 million annually to $10 billion annually, making the country’s goal the continent’s most ambitious agenda to attract investments as an enabler to job creation. Moderna’s investment signifies confidence in the business environment in Kenya and readiness to support foreign and local investment in the healthcare sector, as well as Moderna’s ongoing commitment to global public health. Moderna will operate under a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status, signifying Kenya’s increasing focus on the SEZ program as a key enabler of economic growth.

With this agreement, Moderna has commitments to establish mRNA manufacturing facilities in Kenya, the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, furthering health security around the world. Moderna has spent more than a decade refining its mRNA platform to accelerate the pace and success of mRNA medicines. The speed, scale, and flexibility of Moderna’s mRNA platform is uniquely suited for rapid response to serious international epidemics, commonly referred to as Disease X.[i]

Moderna is committed to advancing into clinical studies a portfolio of 15 vaccine programs targeting emerging or neglected infectious diseases by 2025, advancing vaccines that address current diseases of significant impact to low- and middle-income countries, and those that prepare for Disease X. Moderna will prioritize development efforts against pathogens identified as persistent global health threats, including HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, neglected tropical diseases and the priority pathogens of the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Learn more at https://www.modernatx.com/responsibility/our-commitment.

About Moderna

In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio, and integrated manufacturing facilities that allow for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID pandemic.

Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology, and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and auto-immune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past eight years. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding: the Company’s plans to build an mRNA manufacturing facility in Kenya; the anticipated capacity and output for that facility; the ability of the facility to respond to public health emergencies; Moderna’s aspiration to develop treatments or vaccines against HIV, Zika, Ebola, and other public health pathogens; the ability of Moderna’s mRNA platform to respond to future epidemics; foreign investment in the health sector in Kenya; the advantages of doing business in a Kenyan Special Economic Zone; and Moderna’s plans to establish manufacturing facilities in the United State, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “aims,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. The forward-looking statements in this press release are neither promises nor guarantees, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond Moderna’s control and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include, among others, those risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Moderna’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and in subsequent filings made by Moderna with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Except as required by law, Moderna disclaims any intention or responsibility for updating or revising any forward-looking statements contained in this press release in the event of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements are based on Moderna’s current expectations and speak only as of the date of this press release.

Moderna Contacts:

Media:

Luke Mircea Willats
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Luke.Mirceawillats@modernatx.com

Investors:

Lavina Talukdar
Senior Vice President & Head of Investor Relations
617-209-5834
Lavina.Talukdar@modernatx.com

[i] “Disease X” was named by the WHO to represent the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease. https://www.who.int/activities/prioritizing-diseases-for-research-and-development-in-emergency-contexts

SOURCE: Moderna, Inc.

Hitachi Energy and Petrofac secure landmark offshore wind agreement worth approximately 13 billion euros

Largest framework agreement in Hitachi Energy company history, enabling long-term capacity expansion to accelerate the energy transition.Complementary technologies and expertise support TenneT’s offshore wind capacity expansion in the German and Dutch sectors of the North Sea.

Zurich, Switzerland, March 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all, and Petrofac, a leading international service provider to the energy industry, have been selected by TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator, to supply multiple offshore and onshore HVDC converter stations and associated infrastructure to accelerate the integration of bulk renewables into European power grids.

Hitachi Energy and Petrofac were awarded the multi-year framework agreement as part of TenneT’s ambitious offshore wind “2GW Program”1, based on high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology pioneered by Hitachi Energy.

The agreement includes an initial commitment to deploy six record-breaking renewable integration systems, five of which will connect offshore wind farms to the Dutch grid and the sixth to the German grid. Each of these connection systems has a capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) and a voltage level of 525 kilovolts (kV) – a world-first for offshore wind.

This landmark framework agreement is the largest ever for Hitachi Energy. It confirms the opportunity to innovate how state-of-the-art technology can be deployed effectively and how new business models enable the scale needed for the green energy transition. The framework agreement approach allows Hitachi Energy and Petrofac to plan in advance and increase their workforce and manufacturing capacity timely as well as train people to have the skills needed in the industry while also capturing synergies between successive projects to meet the in-service dates.

Hitachi Energy will supply its HVDC Light® converter stations, which convert AC to DC power offshore and DC to AC onshore. Petrofac will undertake the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the offshore platforms and elements of the onshore converter stations.

The first contract under the framework, for the Ijmuiden Ver Alpha project, was awarded with immediate effect. The second, Nederwiek 1, is expected to be awarded later in the year. The framework also includes projects Doordewind 1, Doordewind 2, Nederwiek 3 and LanWin5, expected to be awarded over a 2024-2026 timeframe.

“This innovative business model will set the course for the integration of a huge amount of offshore wind power and gives visibility of the future.  In fact, we are already hiring to expand our global delivery capacity and effectively fulfill these and other orders,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director at Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “We’re proud to be part of this journey and, along with our partner Petrofac, we are setting the benchmark for deploying offshore HVDC technology at scale and with speed.”

“Today’s announcement represents an exciting next step in Petrofac and Hitachi Energy’s collaboration. We have already secured key resource and the yard capacity required to expedite the first two projects in TenneT’s ground-breaking program,” said Sami Iskander, Petrofac’s Group Chief Executive. “By combining Petrofac’s industry-leading EPCI expertise and Hitachi Energy’s well proven technology, we look forward to supporting TenneT to connect larger, more effective wind farms to deliver affordable clean energy for millions of European homes.”

“TenneT has the technical know-how, scale, and geographical position to connect wind energy from the North Sea. This is one of the most important infrastructure projects of the century; the green transformation of the energy system is key for the decarbonisation of industry,” said Tim Meyerjürgens, COO of TenneT. “Together with our market partners, we are very proud to have achieved another important milestone. Together we secure decisive acceleration of the offshore grid development and set the course for the future European energy landscape.”

“The new long-term approach goes hand in hand with a fundamental change in values towards a strong partnership. This approach enables both sides with more flexibility, technological progress, and planning security,” said Marco Kuijpers, Director Large Projects Offshore of TenneT.  This benefits all parties and secures employment, growth, and the strengthening of supply chains. We can already see that our partners invest in extra resources and facilities.”

Hitachi Energy and Petrofac began working together in June 2022, to provide joint grid integration and associated infrastructure solutions to support TenneT’s 2GW Program.2

In the same year, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium agreed to install at least 65 gigawatts of offshore wind energy combined by 2030 announced with the inter-governmental Esbjerg Declaration.3 At 40 gigawatts, almost two-thirds of this capacity is accounted for by TenneT, with 20 gigawatts each in the German and Dutch North Sea sectors.

1 TenneT’s 2GW Program
2 Hitachi Energy and Petrofac to collaborate in growing offshore wind market
3 The Esbjerg Declaration

HVDC website:
https://www.hitachienergy.com/offering/product-and-system/hvdc

About Hitachi Energy Ltd.
Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 40,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of approximately $10 billion USD.
https://www.hitachienergy.com
https://www.linkedin.com/company/hitachienergy
https://twitter.com/HitachiEnergy

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society with data and technology. We will solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products, under the business structure of Digital Systems & Services, Green Energy & Mobility, Connective Industries and Automotive Systems. Driven by green, digital, and innovation, we aim for growth through collaboration with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2021 (ended March 31, 2022) totaled 10,264.6 billion yen ($84,136 million USD), with 853 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 370,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi.com.

About Petrofac
Petrofac is a leading international service provider to the energy industry, with a diverse client portfolio including many of the world’s leading energy companies.

Petrofac designs, builds, manages and maintains oil, gas, refining, petrochemicals and renewable energy infrastructure. Our purpose is to enable our clients to meet the world’s evolving energy needs. Our four values – driven, agile, respectful and open – are at the heart of everything we do.

Petrofac’s core markets are in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the UK North Sea, where we have built a long and successful track record of safe, reliable and innovative execution, underpinned by a cost effective and local delivery model with a strong focus on in-country value. We operate in several other significant markets, including India, Southeast Asia and the United States. We have 8,000 employees based across 31 offices globally.

Petrofac is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: PFC). For additional information, please refer to the Petrofac website at www.petrofac.com

Media contacts:
Jocelyn Chang
Global Head of Public Relations & Content Strategy
Hitachi Energy
jocelyn.chang@hitachienergy.com

Sophie Reid
Group Head of Communications
Petrofac
sophie.reid@petrofac.com

Attachment

Jocelyn Chang
Hitachi Energy
jocelyn.chang@hitachienergy.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8798527

Berger Paints unveils new logo for global competitiveness

Berger Paints Nigeria Plc has unveiled a new logo in a bold move to reposition the company for global competitiveness, increase earnings and boost shareholders value.

The unveiling which held in Lagos had in attendance some members of the company’s board of directors, representatives of the shareholders and senior staff.

According to Berger Paints Chairman, Mr Abi Ayida, the new brand identity stemmed from a comprehensive market research which revealed that 70 per cent of its customers sought for a deeper brand connection.

Ayida added that the logo change was consistent with the future that the firm was envisioning.

He revealed that alongside the new logo was an improved tagline which read: “Experience your world in colour.”

“Just like everything in life, there is a time when you refresh, modernise and update which is the same way we do as human beings.

“I think there is also a natural lifespan in the company’s image and its identity and touchpoint.

“We have thought long and hard and we are coming out of a difficult recent past globally and a lot has changed; the demography of our stakeholders are changing and we want that updated in a more memorable way,” he said.

Ayida also emphasised the need for government to create an operating environment that removes uncertainties for manufacturers to enhance proper planning and penetration for businesses.

The company’s Managing Director, Mrs Alaba Fagun, stated that the paint firm was repositioning itself to take over the African market.

“Berger Paints has been in existence for over 60 years and is are at the top of it as a frontline indigenous company.

“We want to be the top paint manufacturing company in Africa, whilst attracting young customers.

“Our target market has reduced from 60 to 35 years and this brand identity will speak to the market,” Fagun said.

Meanwhile, a shareholder, Mrs Joke Shofolahan, representing the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, congratulated the firm on the new logo change. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Debt deficit: DMO, Centre task incoming administration on revenue generation

Debt Management Office (DMO) and African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) have tasked the incoming government on revenue generation to tackle Nigeria’s debt deficit.

The stakeholders made the call on Wednesday, in Abuja at a one-Day Leadership and Development Policy Dialogue Series (LDPDS) with the theme “Nigerian Debt Sustainability Threat: Issues, implications, Lessons and Solutions for the Next Administration”.

Director, Portfolio Management Department of the DMO, Mr Dele Afolabi, said that Nigeria had to be deliberate with revenue generation to harness a balanced economy because currently, the revenue did not match the high debt servicing burden of the country.

According to Afolabi, this is imperative since revenue pays debt because the more revenue you have ,the less you have to borrow going forward .

He said although Nigeria had the highest Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in Africa but its government generated revenue to GDP ratio is lower than that of most African countries and this can be tackled through taxes among others.

“The people are not paying the right taxes ,we don’t have the right culture of taxation and revenue for government. So, I think ,looking at the next government ,the key focus should be on how to grow government revenue.

“Most people really don’t pay taxes ,apart from people that receive salaries in the formal sector a lot of people are either not paying tax at all or not paying as they should ;so there a lot of leakages in terms of government revenue.

“If we have the highest GDP in Africa, then we should also have the highest revenue but that is not the situation.’’

Afolabi, therefore, recommended that government should reduce its over dependence on crude oil and harness other resources and solid minerals and block all leakages and grow revenue to reduce accumulating debt.

He also called for stringent action against tax defaulters adding that in other climes ,evading tax payment was criminal and people go to jail for it.

The Executive Director of Centre LSD, Mr Monday Osasah, said that the dialogue was imperative following the Federal Government outcry that Nigeria’s debt sustainability had become threatened following the recent rise in its revenue shortfalls.

Osasah said that according to the Minister of Finance, Nigeria is expected to spend 60 per cent of its total revenue on debt servicing in 2023 and this portended a grave threat to the economy.

“According to Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Nigerian domestic and foreign debt Q3 2022.

“Nigeria’s debt stock which includes external and domestic debt rose from N42.84trillion or 103.31 billion dollars in the second quarter of the 2022 to N44.06 trillion or 101.91 billion dollars in the third quarter same year.

“The debt figure comprised the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 states and FCT.

“The burgeoning trend of our debt is worrisome especially when it is now being used for debt servicing rather than for growing and developing our infrastructure .’’

Osasah said that Nigeria’s debt service-to-revenue ratio is put at 83 per cent of quarter 3,2022 and the ratio had been on the rise as Nigeria faced a dwindling government revenue while government expenditures have increased.

He said that considering the grim reality, the need for begin to think and commence advocacy for budgetary reforms, fiscal prudence and revenue innovation for the next government was paramount.

He said without these, it would difficult for the incoming administration to rescue the country from the weakening debt sustainability trend.

Prof. Isah Mohammed ,a Professor of Transport and Financial Economics ,Department of Economics ,University of Abuja, a key speaker at the event, said public debt was a crucial tool for government to finance public spending .

Mohammed said that this was, especially when it is challenging to increase taxes and cut spending and the procedure has resulted in government having enormous unpaid debts overtime.

“Another way to accelerate economic growth is contracting reasonable debt to pay for infrastructure and public projects

“In order to encourage long-term development ,the government should also ensure that borrowing is done on conditions that are consistent with entrenching debt sustainability and that borrowed funds are wisely invested in the economy’s value added sectors.’’

Mohammed said that Nigeria should accomplish this to resolve its debt problems, improve its credit standing and achieve sustainable growth.

He also called for effective tax administration to tackle revenue challenges and the need to ensure compliance to remittances devoid of all form of evasion in the system.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Pensioners demand separate ministry

Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to create a ministry with the responsibility of addressing the plights of retirees in the country.

The South-West zone of NUP made the call after its quarterly meeting in Abeokuta on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by chairmen and secretaries of NUP from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti states.

Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Public Relations Officer of NUP, Olusegun Abatan, said that the creation of the ministry would turn the fortunes of pensioners around in the country.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has done quite a lot for pensioners. He really helped them and so we are appealing to Tinubu to please give the matter of pensioners serious attention.

“We want a separate ministry that will be solely addressing matters that have to do with pensioners under the administration of Tinubu,” he said.

Abatan alleged that governors of South-West states were owing pensioners in the zone huge sums as gratuities and pensions.

He urged all the governors in the zone to implement the consequential adjustment and the 35 per cent increment in pensions without further delay.

Abatan particularly cited Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states where he claimed that the gratuities of pensioners were paid last in 2012.

“They are owing arrears of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, including gratuities and entitlements to the next of kin of some deceased pensioners.

“We want to appeal to our governors to step up their interests in the affairs of pensioners,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Afreximbank proposes creation of “Domestic Financial System” for Africa’s development

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President/Chairman, Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has proposed creation of a Domestic Financial System that would allow Africa develop, prosper and earn respect.

He made the proposal at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Lecture with the theme: “Unlocking the Constraints to Africa’s Economic Transformation: Insights into the Power of Capital’’, on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to him, Africa may be rich in natural resources, however, leveraging that wealth is determined by those who control the capital required to bring them to market.

He said: “it is, therefore, important that we build a Domestic Financial System that welcomes foreign banks but which, as a deliberate policy, must have the strong participation of Africa owned banks.’’

The Afreximbank boss said, however, that why there was a need to welcome foreign banks, the space must not be completely ceded to them if we (Africans) hoped to drive development in our desired direction.

Oramah questioned why Africans were still hooked on grants and begging all the time, despite over 60 years of independence.

He also wondered why Africa’s money was being spent outside Africa and by who.

He said although Africa had about 500 billion dollars, that is about half of Africa’s external debts today, stashed away in foreign banks but the same countries (African countries) could not borrow from the same foreign banks holding the resources.

He said the excuses of compliance complication and country risk constraints that were hardly mentioned when the funds were being deposited, had made it impossible for Africans to borrow from the same foreign banks holding the resources.

Oramah said: “It is in the context of this foregoing that the topic of today’s lecture “Unlocking the Constraints to Africa’s Economic Transformation: Insights into the Power of Capital’’ is apt and opportune.

“Without any doubt, capital represents the foundation on which a viable economic transformation can be built and why ownership of capital is necessary, it is its control that provides the sufficient condition for capital to become an effective factor of production that can deliver development.”

Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank said in his goodwill message that for Africa to achieve the restoration that she needed to prosper, she would require the cooperation of all stakeholders.

“Africa needs to wake up. Nobody knows Africa other than Africa, Nobody will take risks in Africa other than Africa, and nobody will know the corners other than us, Africans.

“I think he (Oramah) brought before us a huge challenge in a way, he took a swipe on the banking industry as a major anchor for accumulation and circulation of capital.

“But, I think the banking industry will not be doing this on its own, we need the cooperation of all the stakeholders to achieve this,’’ he said.

Dr Ken Opara, President/Chairman of CIBN, noted that unlocking the constraints to Nigeria’s economic transformation would certainly impact the entire continent as the country was considered Africa’s biggest economy,

“Currently, Nigeria is considered Africa’s biggest economy, and this is why some people believe that Africa’s chances of prosperity completely lie in the hands of this country.

“ As economies around the world continue to struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring food and energy prices, surging inflation, debt tightening, climate change, etc., unlocking the constraints to Nigeria’s economic transformation will certainly impact the entire continent.

“As we already know, the African continent represents 20 per cent of the earth’s surface and is home to about 1.3 billion people which will likely reach 2.53 billion people by 2050.

“It boasts of 60 per cent of the world’s arable lands, large swathes of forests, 30 per cent of the world’s reserve of minerals, and the youngest population in the world,’’ he said.

Opara said in spite these riches and impressive demography, many African countries were still characterised by widespread poverty and inequality, coupled with mixed effects of limited access to quality education, health, nutrition, technology and innovation.

According to him, failure to tackle these issues can deprive a generation of Africans the opportunities to maximise their potentials.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlight of the event was the CIBN execution of a collaboration Memorandum of Understanding with Afreximbank Academy to run joint Capacity Building and Certification programmes in the area of Trade and Finance.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria